As a child educator for almost all my adult life, i have always known that the best way to learn is through play, art, story telling, and music and movement. now, i’m looking forward...
Happy World Teachers Day! Every now and then, I still find myself questioning why and how I happened to fall into teaching. I still haven’t figured out the answer to that, but every...
Join the Rainbow Kids Yoga Tea...1
I Teach Because They Taught Me...2
Rekindling the Passion3
One of the things I most struggle with everyday is reconciling the fact that while many rules may seem irrelevant and at times, illogical, and the need to follow these rules.
My own sister often uses that as a weapon against me when we fight. She calls me a ‘goody-two-shoes’. However, while most people are okay with bending the rules, I still find it very difficult to do so. Let’s take driving rules for example. It really bothers me when people, especially motorcycles, continue to go forward even though there is a red light in front of them. For others, they rationalize that there’s no oncoming traffic anyway. I try my best to follow these rules even though it inconveniences me, but it’s hard to stick to it when every one else does not follow!
Another pet peeve of mine would be when people park by someone elses driveway. While that may not be a written rule, it is a basic social rule that should not need to be taught. Frustrating, right?!?
I think we would all live in a much better world if we all just try to follow rules a little better and remember, no matter how irrational it is, there must be a reason for itRead More
One of my favorite places to shop in are those Book Sale kiosks or stalls. I love how old books find new homes through these kinds of stores, especially since brand new books are quite expensive. This is especially true for text books, more so when we are talking about college text books. I know that for the early grades, it’s a little more difficult to recycle text books because of the fact that there are answer sheets that have to be completed after each chapter.
My bookcase is filled with all sorts of old books. A lot of them are textbooks. From Physics to Statistics, Psychology and Biology, the list is endless. My brothers also have their share of old textbooks, and in fact, next week they will be getting a new set for the upcoming school year. There is a solution I can think of, however: Sell textbooks! By selling these old textbooks, I can free up space as well as make money out of something I am not using anymore. Perhaps, donating can also be an option.
Come to think of it, Book Sale also has a lot of text books available at much lower prices. However, the hassle with Book Sale is the way books are organized in the shelves. It’s kind of hard to see the titles and a lot of times, you only get books by chance. I wish there was an online book center, such as the one here . By going online, it’s easier to find what you are looking for. This site actually gives you the opportunity to sell books too. For more details, check out the faq page.Read More
In class one day, one of the little boys said to his classmate: “You’re such a loser!”.
I overheard him call his classmate that and I immediately called his attention on it. I asked him why he had said it and what it meant to him, and all he could tell me was that he had seen it in TV. He didn’t even really know what it meant, except that it was something you said when someone made a mistake. In this case, the classmate had dropped his snack box cover on the floor.
I explained to him how what he had done was wrong and I gave him a “sad face” mark on his hand to remind him not to do it anymore. Since then, I never heard him say it again. However, i got to thinking about how we adults give kids mixed messages when it comes to what is right and wrong. Take for example the local television show Agua Bendita. It tells the story of two young girls, born as twins but very different. One is a typical, normal looking child, while the other one takes on a water form when in dry land. Overlooking the impossibility of the concept, let me just focus on the behavior the grandmother teaches the young girl named Bendita. She teaches her granddaughter to call her sister Agua a “freak”. Granted that she is indeed freakish, I think it is a very wrong thing to teach children. Because of the show, calling others “freak” becomes an acceptable behavior. Yes, I know it is television, but I think there could have been steps taken to show that is is unacceptable and wrong. Throughout the series, I have not yet heard Bendita being reprimanded for calling her sister a freak.
Shows like this, as well as other cartoons that have characters calling each other stupid, idiot, moron, and the like with no reprimand or means of correcting these behaviors give kids mixed messages about what is right and wrong. For young children, being consistent and firm is essential in making sure they learn the right messages that will lead to better behaviors in the future.Read More
Seriously, do they?
In the past few months, I have observed how television commercials and similar media have seemed to place so much more value on looks, even more than they used to. For example, I was appalled at a TV ad that featured whitening lotion for teens and pre-teens. Seriously??? In an article I had read, the author even pointed out that the ad said something about “start white, start right” (or vice versa). Bottom line, the point was to make it far, you have to have white skin. With that, I got to thinking if looks really matter.
In a perfect world, the answer should be no. However, in the world we live in, sadly often times the answer is yes. For me, I personally see how looks do affect interactions I engage in, but that doesn’t mean I approve of judging others by their looks. What I mean here is that as I have gotten older (and it is physically obvious now) I seem to be able to get more respect from my students. It’s like they see me more as an authority figure as compared to when I was still quite young. As such, I see how looks can make a difference. In this case, it was a “good” effect, but many times, people can use looks as a means for discrimination which I TOTALLY DO NOT CONDONE! Going back to my intro, for example, having darker skin should not be an issue.
I believe that more than changing the way we look through these supposed magic creams, treatments and plastic surgery, which are big trends nowadays. More than emphasizing that we will be “better” with these, we need to be able to highlight that we don’t need to CHANGE who we are, but to change OUR PERSPECTIVE of who we are and this can be done by taking good care of physical selves. For example, I struggle with a mild case of hirsutism, which is an off-shoot of a hormonal problem I have. As such, I have a lot of unsightly unwanted hairs on my upper lip and chin. Perhaps, taking steps to remove these hairs such as waxing, threading or the like can be helpful. Checking out a site featuring Laser Hair Removal in Los Angeles made me think also about seeking permanent hair removal treatments for my problem. The thing is, I’m not so sure how well I can tolerate that and if I can afford it for that matter.
On a personal level, at this point in my life, I can still say I will not opt for any physical treatments such as Botox Treatment Los Angeles. I have nothing against those who want to have it done, and who knows if five, ten years down the line I’d feel the same. I guess as long as you educate yourself and read the WebMD Botox Information thoroughly, you can make a better decision for yourself.
As I’ve said, it’s not just physical looks per se that matter, but really how we take care of ourselves.The thing is, we don’t really get to get that message across to people, especially young and impressionable individuals. So do looks really matter? Yes, they do. But this doesn’t mean you have to dislike the way you look: you just have to learn to accentuate and highlight your personal beauty strengths.Read More
I used to be a very punctual person growing up. Now, I catch myself being late a lot. To be fair, I still am generally prompt when it comes to meetings and appointments. However, because of the notion of Filipino Time, sometimes I find myself dilly dallying instead of getting ready as early as I would have normally used to do.
The idea that it is okay to be late because the event (be it a meeting, party or what not) doesn’t start on time anyway seems to have been so ingrained into todays society that many have lost a sense of value for time. Perhaps this attitude prevails because it has become an accepted behavior among most of us, very much like Pavlov’s classical conditioning. I suppose we also make it acceptable by our response to these kinds of behaviors.
Just this term, the university I work for introduced a program to really emphasize the importance of being on time. Every now and then, we would receive emails reminding us about how we should be in the classrooms on time, even though our students tend to come in later. I guess part of the reason why the students come late too is because they know the teachers are aware they come late so they aren’t 100% prompt 100% of the time. Plus they get away with it anyway.
This coming term, I am going to try to rewrite Filipino time, at least for myself. Perhaps by being more self-aware about my being prompt and conscientious about this, I can affect change around me, after all, this is why I’m called teacher, right?Read More
I’m over my head with papers, quizes and tests that need to be checked Next to having to wake up early, this is one part of the job that can really challenge me. I guess most teachers will feel the same way, or at least I hope they do! While tests are essential ways in measuring or assessing how much students have learned, sometimes I think there are other measures that can also be as rich in data and perhaps for some, more appropriate.
This coming summer I will be giving a workshop on embracing different learners in the classroom. I hope this will be helpful to all teachers and parents out there who have a passion for making their classrooms fair for all their students. Nonetheless, while trying to embrace all types of learners is a goal I have in my class, I still cannot avoid having to be a traditional test-giving teacher from time to time. At times, I turn to my test bank or perhaps a quiz generator to help me come up with the best test possible to accommodate all the different students in my class. I guess one way I try to keep it fair is by giving my students test taking tips and sample exercises so that they can hone their skills and be able to cope with the academic demands of classes. I think this is especially important for school systems that tend to be more traditional and structured, just like what we have here in the Philippines. I’m glad that the school I currently teach in focuses on a more transformative learning pedagogy which allows me to be a more flexible teacher both in terms of teaching concepts and assessing student’s progress.
I will post more about the details of the workshop when I have them, but I hope I do see you there!Read More
Teaching self-esteem and social skills are probably two of the most difficult concepts to impart. I guess, even learning these two can be tricky at times, what more for a tween or a young adolescent, right?
The movie The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, based on the book with the same title by Jeff Kinney, is a fun and insightful look into a middleschoolers world. It highlights issues and concerns that children between ages 10-16 face, especially as they navigate the tumultuous world known as school.
The struggle for autonomy and establishing one’s identity are two crucial issues that occur at this period of life. Often times, this causes a lot of stress and pressure to a young child’s life. It causes one to question who they are and what they will be in the society they live in. As adults, we tend to think that they are resilient enough to make it through this period, especially if they too went through similar experiences.
Watching that period of life through Greg and Rowley’s eyes, the lead characters who are best friends, reminded me of struggles I went through as a fat kid in 6th grade. I remember how puberty started kicking in then and I was not a very pleasant sight to behold! I recall being the butt of jokes to many of my prettier and slimmer classmates, and though I took it in stride, I realized that this had a long term effect on my life, both in positive and negative ways.
Although I haven’t read the book yet, I believe both the film and the book can be valuable resources for your tweens who are entering that crucial place in their life to help them learn to recognize the value of being true to yourself and loving who you are.
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid opens on April 3, 2010 in local cinemas.Read More
The Holy Week is one of the most revered and sacred holidays for most Christians. It is a time to reflect, repent and return to the Lord who so graciously gave up His life for His people. It is also a time for families to reconnect and bond. The Marriott Manila opens its doors to patrons for a blissful family retreat where mommies, daddies and their kids can enjoy a relaxing weekend together. As an added bonus, the Marriott will be having an exciting activities planned for the family on the 4th of April in commemoration of Easter Sunday.Read More
However, for many, this may not feel like it. I am lucky I was born to a family that afforded me a good education, but not everybody is as lucky as me. But this does not mean they don’t deserve an education right?
In the radio this past week (I listen to AM stations most of the time whenever I am heading to school), I heard countless tales of the sad plight of education in our country. I heard how some very deserving students suddenly found themselves stripped of honors they should have received if not only for the fact that their parents could not afford to settle tuition dues. I heard stories of how some were not able to attend their graduation rites because of the fees being charged for it.
Yes, education is a right..or is it really?
Presently, quality education seems to no longer be accessible for all. While I may understand why education in a private institution can cost quite a lot, I also know that things can be done in the national level to help control these costs, especially for national universities. However, the money that should be going to quality education ends up in pockets that do not deserve them. It’s a shame that the government cannot allocate the budget that education sector deserves. Sometimes it feels like only the private sector or citizens like our CNN Hero Efren Penaflorida and his team make clear strides towards making quality education accessible to all.
Just because education is a right, though, it doesn’t mean that you have to be ungrateful, irrational or violent about not receiving this right fully. While I fully understand where the students from PUP were coming from this past week when it came to their rallying and fighting for the education they deserve, I was disheartened by news of the violent protest that ensued. It saddened me that they felt they had to resort to burning the school equipment to prove their point. I have taken part in my fair share of protests and demonstrations but I still believe that violence will not solve anything. At the end of the day, I feel that instead of making a positive impact to the situation, it became an even more complicated one because now there are less resources available for the students.
As a teacher, I personally feel how education is not given the credit it definitely deserves. I will not deny that comparatively, the institution I work for pays me well. However, if I compare this to other countries or other types of industries, its not much. Sometimes, it makes me really think about why I still teach in the Philippines. Whenever I see Facebook updates about my fellow graduates from FLCD who are teaching in the US, I think about finally taking the plunge and making a good living for myself there. However, I still stay. Why? Because I still believe the Filipinos need teachers to stay.
As we approach the 2010 National Elections, campaign promises are being made left and right, and education is in the thick of it. I hope that finally, the next government can finally allocate a decent budget that will allow our millions of Filipinos to claim their right to education.Read More
If I were not a teacher, I would probably be a writer or be in media. Even though I am painfully shy (yes, I am!) my mom used to say I was very “showbiz” as a child. If I’d look for a job in that field, I’d probably explore Singapore public relations with Newsline Communications or consultancy with one of the local PR firms I get to interact with in blogger events. I could also look into training and development, whether locally or abroad.
Seriously though, I still like being a teacher a lot, which is why even though I believe I can do well in public relations I still choose to stay as what I am. I guess to some degree, teaching, especially young kids, is much like PR, just a different kind. I have to sell the idea of things kids don’t really like, such as vegetable and doctors’ visits and make them seem exciting and fun. In the adult world, public relations is still the same right? We try to get people interested in products and services by generating buzz and making these seem exciting and fun. I think there’s a difference though between simply generating buzz or gaining publicity to establishing a public presence. PR companies, I’d think, are not just there to publicize things but to care for your name, products and services. To know more, read the article on public relations and click here for services. Like teaching, I don’t kids to just get excited about the idea of things, but I want them to learn these things and establish life-long connections to these concepts and ideas. So, I guess I’m still into PR after all…just in a different light. Wouldn’t you agree?Read More